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Sweetie Pie Valentine’s Day Giveaway.

Those of you with a sweet tooth, may remember that over Christmas, Strong Island joined up with Sweetie Pie Bakery of Southsea, for an exclusive 10% discount on all their Sweet Pies, Cookies and Slices. As you may remember from our previous posts, Sweetie Pie specialise in baking sweet pies, cookies and slices, all of which are 100% gluten free. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Sweetie Pie have created their own “You’re My Cherry Pie” Valentine’s day special addition to the Sweetie Pie Menu.

“Our new You’re My Cherry Pie, is a soft almond crust, filled with a sweet cherry and pecan filling, topped with coconut cream and crispy pastry lid”

We’ve also heard on the cherry vine that these delicious gluten-free vegan creations will also be added to the Southsea Pie & Vinyl menu for those romantic couples who have booked a table for the stores Van Halens-tines day coming up. To book a romantic table, email: or call the store on 02392 753914.

The team at Sweetie Pie Bakery have also decided to give away 2 of their 4″ fluted You’re My Cherry Pies to one lucky couple or a sweet toothed singleton. To enter on Facebook simply “Like” the Sweetie Pie Bakery Facebook page and just share the image with tags #sweetiepiesouthsea AND #sweetiepievalentine. To enter via Instagram simply follow on instagram @sweetiepiesouthsea and share the competition image and tag #sweetiepievalentine.

To place any orders, simply email or for information on ordering in time for Valentine’s Day and all other Sweetie Pie bakes visit their Facebook Gallery at for price lists and a list of all their other products.

Valentines Giveaway Image to share

2 inch mini cherry

Close up Cut Open

Make is 1

It’s always good to see local businesses thriving and Make on Albert Road has been a real success story. Nicky the owner got in touch to tell us they are about to celebrate their first birthday.

Here at Make HQ we’d like to thank all our supporters/fans/friends by offering 10% off all our stock on the 7th Feb at 7pm, to help things along there will be a bit of wine and nibbles too, to celebrate Make’s first birthday. For all you vintage pattern lovers there will be over 600 patterns available on the night too, all £3 each!

They’re may even be cake!

If you haven’t visited Make before because you might think crafting is not your thing it will definitely change your perception. Make now stocks super hip, sustainable label Wool and the Gang which actually convinced my partner to learn to knit back in December.

Remember there are plenty of workshops you can attend to learn or improve skills all set in a welcoming environment that fosters creativity. Strong Island wishes you many happy years to come!

make876_n makebanner



The Strong Island Almanac Presents: Circolo Pizzeria

With Portsmouth awash with large chain pizza delivery places you tend to forget what ‘real pizza’ should taste and look like. At Circolo you won’t find a hotdog or tasteless plastic cheese stuffed in your crust but a light crisp handmade truly Italian dough. If that doesn’t inspire you then the relaxed, bright, modern vintage interior might persuade you to stay for awhile, grab a beer or coffee and order a slice of heaven!




Owner Gianni showed us round and talked about the interior design, pizza and his family’s history with the city.

 The interior was designed by myself. We were lucky that when we pulled off the old plasterboard and found underneath the original tiles from when it was a butchers in the 50′s we were on to a good start. People thought I was mad wanting to keep them but I’m glad I did! They were a great find as these sort of tiles were in keeping with the style I wanted to go for. With the furniture and fittings, I tend to collect a lot of different things and can’t resist buying things that I like or  think are designed well. So when I found the right location for the pizzeria I finally had somewhere to put all the pieces I’d collected. All the fixtures and fittings I have a bought over the years from vintage fairs, second hand shops, Ebay and the occasional auction. The marble work tops were saved from my grandads’ ice cream parlour he opened in the 30′s in  Guildhall Square. There is even a section dedicated to it in the Portsmouth Museum, so it was great to bring them back to life after years of being sat in the garden. There are still loads of peoples’ names engraved into the marble from all those years ago.






Tell us about your pizza?

The most important thing when making a pizza is the dough, which we make fresh everyday. Every pizza chef has a slightly different recipe for making dough. They are all very similar but everyone has a slight variation on the text book recipe. We all know what the Italians are like!

With pizza, as with all Italian food, less is more. We use fresh ingredients and as many Italian products as we can get hold of, which we get delivered everyday. By combining three or four simple but fresh ingredients you get a delightful end product. Unlike the big pizza chains where everything is frozen and loaded up with processed food.

The final thing that makes a great pizza is the oven. For an authentic Italian pizza you need a stone bake oven to get a beautiful crispy base. We imported ours from Italy. It cooks the pizzas beautifully.


 Verrechia’s in Guildhall Square. 14 October 1959.

What inspired you to open Circolo?

 I opened Circolo as have spent a lot of time in Italy as my mothers’ side of the family is Italian and I still have a lot of family who live there. My grandad came over from Italy before the war and opened Portsmouth’s first ice cream parlour and coffee shop Verrecchia’s, so I guess it is in the blood! In Italy, there are pizzerias everywhere.  You can go grab a quick pizza and a beer or even just a slice; I really enjoyed that when I lived there and missed not being able to do that in Portsmouth. I thought the city was missing something like that, so when I found a good location I took the plunge and got to work.

Do you have any plans for the future?

Plans for the future?! Well it is early days but I would like to open another few places out of town but I must be mad as there is a lot of hard work and stress involved.




Circolo has a Facebook page which is updated regularly and is full of glowing reviews.

You will find them at 78 Osbourne Road and can contact them on 02392 349 079.









The Strong Island Almanac Presents: Truffles

Castle Road has enjoyed something of a renaissance recently, with successful street fairs and the expansion of Pie & Vinyl the road has reaffirmed itself as one of Southsea’s most treasured locations.

The street is home to a number of eateries and cafe’s and it’s food culture seems to be coming into it’s own with something for everyone. From casual coffee stops, sandwiches, pies and now the reinvention of landmark bistro Truffles. The once dark and somewhat uninviting restaurant which has inhabited the same spot for decades is now under new ownership. The transformation is a thing of chic coastal beauty.

I caught up with the owner Dayne Hobbes who immediately made us feel relaxed with a coffee and a smile. As we sat down head chef Tim Trussler appeared with a basket of freshly baked bread and we began to discuss everything from interior design to Scandinavian baking.

Tell us about your journey? How did you come to own Truffles?

Truffles really is a family business, we’re all involved and between us have around 80 years experience in the restaurant business. I only moved to Southsea a year ago but first dreamed about having a restaurant on Castle Road ten years ago when we walked through here one day. I remember walking past thinking how much I’d like to own this place. It’s purely by word of mouth I came to own the restaurant. We’ve now been open 3 weeks!

Truffles has been completely renovated, talk us through the transformation?

The whole place has been completely opened up, we have re-used some of the original furniture and the kitchen required the most work. The kitchen is open onto the restaurant and Tim can easily communicate with front of house, keep an eye on what’s going on and also chat with customers. We sanded the dark wood floors to reveal light and bright boards, the walls are painted in Farrow and Ball which was a bit of a treat. The enormous mirror is a local purchase from Victoriana on Marmion Road. Overall the place has a relaxed coastal feel to reflect the locality.

How would you describe your menu, ingredients and wine selection?

We are British food with a French twist, our ingredients are sourced locally and our menu changes to reflect the seasons. Tim our chef trained under Gary Rhodes at Michelin starred Rhodes in the Square, London. Our seafood comes from Viviers and Johnson’s and as we are surrounded by the Hampshire countryside we get beautiful fresh game. We are very passionate about English wine and recommend Nyetimber a sparkling wine that easily rivals Champagne. We can match wines to your food and I do plan to have tastings (Dayne has a diploma from the Wine and Spirit education trust).

We enjoyed lunch which costs £9 for two courses or £12 for three courses. I have already booked in a birthday lunch in January and I can honestly say the food was wonderful and great value for money.

You can find more information, contact details and menus on the Truffles website.












The Strong Island Almanac Presents: Lightburn Camera

Kirill Sharikov is a free lance photographer and camera restorer who lives in Southsea, we recently met up to talk about his passion for restoration which also includes bikes. Kirill is the proud owner of Lightburn Camera which sells beautifully restored cameras and you can find his  own photographic work at Lightburn Photo. I strongly recommend you check out both of these, the work on the photo page is glorious!

How long have you been running Lightburn?

I only started back in May this year when I worked on my first camera, it took some research and Youtubing. I wasn’t happy with the first couple of results and ended up ripping off the leather. I bought a large bag of leather off cuts and ended up making all sorts of things with it. I bought an Olympus trip 35 for myself its a really popular camera at the moment and I re-skinned that, they are quite simple to re-skin.

Have you always had a passion for making, restoration and general tinkering?

As a child my main toy was lego and before that I had a Soviet version of Lego, lots of screws and components. Then I went to college to train to be a mechanic and then I switched to building. It teaches you to look at things, improvise and find solutions. I learnt how to weld and paint and I use that when I work on bikes.

What or who inspires you?

At the moment I really like what Fuji are doing style wise with their camera and the Olympus OM-D movement a digital series based on the old style ones. I would be able to re-skin these in the future too which would be great.

Plans for the future?

I’m planning to put tutorials and things on the Facebook page to encourage others to have a go. Obviously I will be renovating more bikes and building on my restoration skills.

You can find Lightburn Cameras Ebay store here and Lightburn on Etsy. Prices start from around an affordable £30.00

Also check out the tutorial on re-skinning a vintage camera.









Christmas Boutique Market at LJR’s

Tomorrow the Boutique Market will be at Little Johnny Russells for a cosy and truly festive time. There will be many talented local artisans and designers present (you can see a selection below). All the makers and designers are selected for their talent and craftsmanship, using high quality materials, time and attention to detail.

Vintage clothing and accessories will be available from Juliette’s Thread and Baggy Jumper. Perfect for cosy winter jumpers to party outfits!

The vinyl record fair will be on hand for your vinyl needs and topping up your record collection.

Strong Island Clothing Co will also be attending with the latest Winter range so a perfect opportunity to get hold of some threads.

We’ll also be remembering the spirit of giving at Christmas by raising money for Portsmouth Foodbank to make sure locals who need a bit extra don’t go with out. There will be some awesome raffle prizes up for grabs including a bike, who doesn’t want to win a bike for Christmas?

So come and support your community, shop local and let’s celebrate what a great art/design/craft scene we have!


 Raw & Auburn 


 Caleigh-ill Draws


 Ooh la Lapin


 Mia Mai

fox lorna

Collage by LAW


Earth, Wool and Fire.


Precious Things with Kendal James.

This Friday 29th November sees the opening of ‘Precious Things’ a collaboration between Kendal James and the Caravan Gallery. I caught up with Kendal to find out more about the exhibition.

How did your collaboration with the Caravan gallery come about?

It all came about quite naturally through friendship and drinking tea. Jan and Chris’s home is full of treasures that they’ve sourced themselves or been given by enthusiastic friends. Friends of theirs can’t help but gift them with interesting, confusing and out-there characters. I’m quite the ‘item seeker’ myself and fell in love with their hordes of Precious Things.

What was the most intriguing object you came across?

The one that first caught my eye (my favourite) is a startling, faded plastic pink cat, with 4 green wheels for feet and a blue string from its front – a classic child’s pull-toy, of course. Although, there’s none more intriguing than a hard, plastic, corn on the cob, painted in yellow and green and adorned with an old elastic band around the middle. Nobody would believe me if I said what’s inside, so, I’ll save that big reveal for the show…

Was it hard to choose what to include in the exhibition?

Not at all, there’s honestly been so much to choose from. My only limits were: what I could carry and, what I could reach without causing an avalanche (albeit, a small one) of other treasures.

Do you think the line between art and craft is a thin one and how do you feel about the art worlds sometimes perceived snobbery toward makers and crafters?

For most of my life, I’ve always been puzzled by the word ‘Art’, there were times when I’d confused myself into thinking that everything I saw was art. Which, in many ways I still believe is true.
I think it’s interesting that categories like Art and Craft form such divisions as they do, especially considering the amount of crossovers.
I would say that perhaps some artists may be upset when a craftsperson makes and sells so many items and designs in shops, making regular profits from reproducing designs. And maybe some craftspeople desire to spend more time on singular items but can’t afford to work in such away. Perhaps any snobbery comes from desires to be a little more like the other, in some way. Who knows?
If someone falls in love with something I’ve created, they can call it what they like, I just hope that it’s adored.
This does sometimes make it hard for me to find a professional identity for myself but that’s not always important.

Are you a collector?

In the past I’ve been a collector. There is a lot of satisfaction in collecting.
I love computer games, especially old pixelated RPG’s (role playing games) of which I still have a neat little collection. I’ve always loved bright, colourful toys and, as soon as I had access to eBay, I rediscovered my love of Barbie dolls.
And, I can never help but pick up odd bits of plastic, metal and cardboard that would one day become a great, and as yet unknown, item or artwork – if time would only allow.
Nowadays, due to moving around a lot, my collecting habits are much more controlled. I keep many sketch books where I doodle simple and extravagant things I see.

I’ve loved having The Caravan Gallery’s treasures in my home, it’s been a great chance to feel like a true collector all over again and the result reflects my personality perfectly. The title is Precious Things but I can’t help but want to describe it as ‘A whole load of toys and things’.

Any plans to exhibit the show in another location?

Everyone is very excited about the show, and there has been some discussion. Watch this space…

What’s next/any plans in the pipeline?

I’m striving towards fulltime art/design, where I can immerse myself in creativity.

Precious Things
Exploring an artist’s hoard of junk and treasure
Kendal James in collaboration with The Caravan Gallery

Exhibition runs: 27th November – 1st December
Preview: Friday 29th November, 6-8pm
Also open: Saturday 30th November & Sunday 1st December, 12-4pm

All other times by appointment:

GASP, Art Space Portsmouth, 27 Brougham Road, Southsea, Hants. PO5 4PA



Snoopers Market.

Saturday 16th November and 7th December sees Snoopers Market returning to Trinity Church Hall on Albert Road from 1.30 – 5.00pm. The opportunity to shop from local markets like these is a fantastic way to support makers, artists, designers and small businesses. There is something special about buying an item that has been made by someone who lives in your area. It ticks many ethical boxes and contributes to your local economy and it actually makes you happier (that’s just a guess but I think it does). The same goes for buying vintage, repurposing something, breathing new life and love into clothing and objects.

There will be many wonderful stall holders, check out a small selection below.





Ooh la Lapin




Earth Wool and Fire


Rainbow Rachels Face Painting


Flo & Stan

Created Local: I Love Rocky

‘I Love Rocky’ is run from a bedroom in Portsmouth, by one women. It has fans all over the world including performer and fashionista Gwen Stefani. So how did she go from sewing in her school lunchtime with friends to making her dreams a reality?

How long have you been a making and selling work?
I started selling things in 2005, via ebay. There used to be an incredible handmade community on there, until Etsy really took off and I transplanted myself over there instead. Before that, I would make things for friends and for myself, but I’d never even thought of it becoming a legitimate business.

You have a ‘day job’ how do you find managing the creative, social, work life balance?
Well, technically, ‘Rocky’ is the day job. I made a living from the things I make for a few years before I decided to get a ‘real job’ alongside it. Although it’s a dream to support yourself solely from the comfort of your spare room/ become studio/office, there are times when orders are slow,  and it’s good to have a back-up income. It also means that when I overspend on fabric and all the crafty stuff that I like to hoard, I don’t feel quite so guilty and start wondering if the electricity company will accept some pretty buttons as payment instead of money.

You sell work worldwide and have over 21,000 followers on Twitter yet local people may not be aware of your designs, do you think more creatives should think outside of their ‘local’ scene?
Most definitely! My percentage of UK sales is something crazily low, like less than 10%. It was never a conscious decision though, just the way things rolled out. Once Myspace appeared, I made a page for my ebay shop and people joined it because they wanted to know whenever I had made new stuff, that eventually moved to Twitter, Facebook, etc, and that is where I am now. In a way, I’ve maybe limited myself by not really being part of any sort of ‘local’ scene, but I really am a bit of a hermit! I can lose myself for days on a new project, but I can only really spend a few hours anywhere else before I’m itching to go home again and get back to work on something.

Who or what inspires you most? 
Mostly, my friends who also make and sell things. One of my best friends from my school days, who I would spend lunchtimes with in the sewing room, making our already flared jeans, more flared (hey, it was the early 2000s!), has built a bit of an empire through sheer dedication to doing what she loves (Steampunk erotica, Steam Girl.) and it’s shown me that nothing is impossible. If you can dream it, then there’s really no reason why you can’t build it. Although I couldn’t imagine ever not making stuff, there’s little things that sometimes happen, and will motivate and inspire me even more. I’ll never forget the morning I woke up to a message from a boutique in LA requesting an order for Gwen Stefani; I dropped my phone on my face and almost fell down the stairs. There was no one else home, so I told my dog and we danced around the living room for a bit.

What does the future hold for you?
First step is to re-brand. Although ‘Rocky The Zombie’ will still exist as a sub-brand. The new name of ‘I Love Rocky’ is less constrictive, and more open to interpretation so that I can happily take things in whatever direction I decide on that that particular day. I’d like to be able to work on more ‘one of a kind’ things, so once the festive season is over, I’m going to start working on some plans that have been brewing in my mind for far too long.

Find’ I Love Rocky’ here: and the Facebook page Rocky the Zombie here.

 Created Local: I Love Rocky (1)
Created Local: I Love Rocky (2)
Created Local: I Love Rocky (3)

Angela Chick Movember Prints

Southsea based illustrator and coffee lover Angela Chick has created some exclusive prints for Movember with all profits going to this amazing charity. Angela says:

Happy Movember! I can’t grow a moustache so in support, I’ve created this facial hair themed print – keep it trim lads, keep it trim!

All profits go toward Movember – because I care about men and their health!

The print is available in three colour ways and is priced at a very reasonable £10.




Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

Last November saw the launch of our 2014 Calendar at an Exhibition at the Wine Vaults. You can read an article from Becki Partridge about the event HERE.

We cannot take all of the credit for the exhibition, the content was all provided by you, the Strong Island readers. Not to forget the exhibition was made possible by the team at Southsea Gallery who printed and framed the photographs. If you see a photo that you like you can purchase it in Southsea Gallery located at 51 Albert Road.

The exhibition can be found in ‘snug’ on the far right hand side of the Wine Vaults.

If you would like to know how to get involved in next years calendar then click HERE to find out more information.

Phil Tickner Calendar Exhibition 1

Phil Tickner Calendar Exhibition

Photos are by the awesome Phil Tickner, be sure to give him a follow on Flickr and on Twitter @HoldYourColour.

Strong Island Calendar Exhibition

A Kind of Conjuration at the Cellars

You would think witch trails a thing of the distant past. However, during the second world war a woman was tried and convicted under the ancient Witchcraft Act.

A play about the trial was performed at The Cellars at Eastney last week. Local theatre companies New Apollo and Cop The Needle brought audiences A Kind of Conjuration. This hour-long theatre piece, directed by Steve Pitt, featured a group of five actors, and was based on the real-life trial of Scottish medium Helen Duncan in 1944, for events that took place in Portsmouth.

The intimacy of the venue worked well for the subject matter, and enabled the performers and audience to connect in a way that isn’t possible in larger venues. When the judge, played by Christopher Marlowe, addressed the jury during the court scene, he spoke to the audience as if they were the jury, making them feel involved in the action.

Angie Lily was fantastic in the court scene, nipping backstage to change elements of costume in-between each character, resulting in a highly entertaining whirlwind of at least five different characters (and accents) testifying in quick succession. Henry Oastler was on comedic top form for his appearance in the court scene, displaying subtle character traits such as a tuck of the chin, transforming him completely from his other role in the play as a newspaper journalist. James Kirby and Tim Lowe also gave entertaining performances.

Writers Stuart Olesker and John Stanton incorporated excerpts from the original court transcript, adding authenticity to this brilliant piece. A highly refreshing and thought provoking performance.

A Kind of Conjuration will next be performed at the Square Tower on 25th June as part of Portsmouth Festivities. (Doors open at 7pm, performance starts at 8pm). On this occasion the play will be preceded by a monologue from the late Harry Price, ghostbuster extraordinary. Tickets from 023 9282 6249 or 023 9273 6288 or online:


Ashley Harley in Portsmouth News:
“a little gem”
“hauntingly good”
“not to be missed”
“solid direction”

Heather James in Portsmouth News:
“I was riveted”
“very witty and entertaining”

David Richards of Remote Goat:
“a sellout”
“a joy to watch”
“superb performances”
“a very high degree of professionalism”
“a very effective mix of the serious and the comedic”
“another triumph and a thoroughly enjoyable evening”

The original flyer for the show at The Cellars

Strong Island Calendar 2015 #SIC2015

Our 2014 Calendar was a huge success, the quality of images and huge amount interest it received really took us by surprise. We managed to double the sales of the 2013 Calendar, meaning we raised just over £600 for the Feel Yourself Campaign and the Alzheimer’s Society. We received over a thousand submissions by email and by use of the Instagram hashtag #sic2014.

We are excited to announce that we are taking submissions for our 2015 calendar. If you’ve taken a photo that you’d like to submit then you can email your submission via If you’ve taken a photo on Instagram that you’d like to submit for consideration you just need add the hashtag #SIC2015. There are no limits to how many you submit, the only rule is that the image must be relevant to Portsmouth.

Along with Instagram this year we also recommend you check out the Faded App. I’ve had a play with this App and you can create images that surpass anything that Instagram can produce. I especially love the overlay function.

If you have been taking any photos during this extreme weather we would love for you to submit them!

You may be aware that unfortunately due to an error our end the original batch of calendars contained a couple of errors. To rectify this the problem with the calendar we re-printed all of the calendars and offered everyone who bought one a free replacement (with free P&P where required). We are confident that we have managed to replace the vast major because of the online ordering records, however if you bought one from Lou Lou’s, Southsea Gallery or the Victorian Market then we don’t have your details so we need you to contact us ASAP to arrange a replacement! Those unclaimed calendars by the end of the week are likely to be donated to the staff of the charities we are supporting

Strong Island Calendar 2015

Here are just a few of the submissions that we have already received that might give you some inspiration.

Charlie Thompson Fratton Park

Charlie Thompson 2
Both Charlie Thompson
Todd Lawton
Todd Lawton
Roberta Curxes
Roberta Fidora
Danny Miles
Danny Miles

Road To Blissfields 2014 by Sophie Perryer

It’s that time of year again, when Southsea’s finest traipse out on a Friday night to listen to some of our home-grown, burgeoning talent. This year was no exception, with the likes of Becky Jerams, Poppobowa, Sabre and the B of the Bang taking to the stage to fill our ears with a range of musical goodness.

The evening was held this year at the Cellars at Eastney, and certainly had a more relaxed atmosphere – Strong Island’s Stuart Barker was even spotted wandering around with a cup of tea at one point!

The relaxed atmosphere lent itself perfectly to Becky Jerams soulful, syrupy vocals, gliding effortlessly over lyrics and melodies alike. Becky has enjoyed considerable success over the last few years with her song writing: her track ‘La La Love’ was featured in a Mandy Moore movie, and she has written for the likes of Chesney Hawkes and Loz Bridge. These accomplishments certainly showed through in her music; her sound was very much grown up pop and polished, while still retaining a youthful, wishful quality in her lyrics. A great start to the evening.

Becky was followed by Popobawa, a Gosport based trio relatively new to the music scene – so much so that Road To Blissfields was their debut live show! To say the boys coped well would be an understatement; they delivered a strong set with some interesting melodic choices which made for a distinctive sound, and the combination of this with hazy vocals akin to Friendly Fires was very striking. The best part? You can download their EP for a ‘name your price’ on their SoundCloud page.

Also hailing from Gosport were SABRE – the fivesome delivered catchy synth beats and impressive vocals not dissimilar to the Maccabees or Bombay Bicycle Club, with a little Two Door Cinema Club thrown in for good measure. Their raucous sarcastic comedy appealed to the crowd, and the banter between the band members was enjoyable.

Last but certainly not least were the B Of The Bang. The contrast of the almost gravelly voice of the lead singer and the Roxanne on keyboard’s ethereal vocals lent an almost eerie sense. The band delivered well thought-out tracks which were both directional and abstract, and conveyed a sense of their musical versatility and talent. Without a doubt a well deserved victory.

Congratulations to the B Of The Bang“>B of the Bang on their slot at Blissfields, and thank you also to the other artists for once again showcasing to us the quality of our local talent! Thank you too to Bellyeyesmile, Joel Ransom, the Cellars at Eastney, Strong Island, and all those others who had a hand in organising a top evening.

By Sophie Perryer

*We will be giving away a pair of tickets to Blissfields over the next six weeks so be sure to keep an eye out.*

Becky Jerams
Becky Jerams

Becky Jerams




B Of The Bang


B Of The Bang

All photo’s by Daniel O’Neill

Victorious Festival 2014

In January the Victorious Festival team announced that the festival will be moving to Southsea Seafront. The team appear to have planned a bigger and better event building upon the success of previous years.

Last week saw the second wave of artists confirmed to perform live. The line up already consisted of awesome headliners Dizzie Rascal, Seasick Steve but they have now been joined by Razorlight, British Sea Power, Slow Club, Foy Vance, Mark Morriss of The Bluetones and The Bog Rolling Stones. There will be DJ sets from Alt J, Terry Hall of the Specials, 2manyDJs and COR. Not to forget some of the best local talent such as Matt Jarvis, Eloise Keating and our favourites the Southsea Alternative Choir are also performing.

Personally I’m really excited about the Sunday line up, I’ve been a huge fan of Seasick Steve for years and I even went to Bestival dressed as him for the Under the Sea fancy dress theme. Sunday also see’s British Sea Power performing, they have been regular visitors to the Wedgewood Rooms during their tours in the past, most recently in April 2013. They are easily one of the best live acts you could ever have the pleasure of seeing. The Saturday headliner Dizzie Rascal isn’t too shabby. I caught him at Bestival in 2010 and I can promise you, he knows how to put on a show and get you dancing!

There will be more artists announced closer to the time. You can find out first by following Victorious on Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park. If you would like to be involved in the boutique market then drop the team an email on

The festival will be held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. There are limited early bird tickets available but hurry as they are only available at the reduced price for the next ten days! Adult Day tickets are currently available for £15 per day and will be £20 after. You can pick one up via the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets will cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for free.

Over the next five months we will try and keep you up to date on announcements and preview the performers and attractions that you can look forward to.

Victorious Festival 2014

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum

Tricorn: Controversy in Concrete is a brand new exhibition commemorating 10 years since the demolition of this distinct and controversial building that between 1966 and 2004 was a fundamental part of the Portsmouth skyline. The exhibition at Portsmouth City Museum goes far beyond documenting the building from an architectural perspective, although for the first time many, many original drawings, plans and photographs are on display from the building’s architects, much of it for the first time ever. Where this exhibition explores beyond the groundbreaking and (for many) iconic Brutalist architectural design is documenting how it was experienced and used by the people of Portsmouth. The exhibition opened on the 15th and formally had its opening celebration to a capacity crowd on Saturday 22nd.

The exhibition on the ground floor of the museum is loosely arranged in to two areas, with the first section detailing the origins of the building from concept to design and build. As you enter this space the striking architectural plans on the wall are what first catch the eye. The lines and form of the concrete structure can almost take you back in time to the exciting and economically optimistic early 1960s, with the original and then cutting edge design still feeling strangely fresh even now. This is reinforced with the many original pamphlets, magazines and books that show the enthusiasm the project launched with. This part of the exhibition also establishes where the Tricorn sat within the Brutalist movement and also with some other buildings in the city such as Portsdown Park and Portsmouth Central Library, both of which are in the exhibition in the form of architect sketches and models.

The second section focuses on how the people of Portsmouth experienced the structure over the years it stood in the city centre. Part of this section is an incredible collection of posters and artwork from the nightclub but there is also related music, photos and even period clothing giving a sense of how the building was, for a time, a hub for the community. This section also looks at how the building was a creative inspiration for many, including artwork, skateboard decks and in particular, photography. It is in this section the Strong Island community photo panel is located, with over 100 photos capturing the structure in artistic angles and light. This area is also home to some striking work by Jon King and James Earle, both of who explored the building with their cameras throughout it’s demolition. Both areas also contain oral history, with interviews, opinions and memories on the Tricorn from both architect and members of the public. Also in both areas of the exhibition are feedback walls, which welcome comments from people visiting the exhibition. Despite the exhibition only being open for a week these are already full with amazing contributions.

On Saturday 22nd the exhibition was formally opened including attendance by VIPs such as Owen Luder, one of the original architects, plus many people associated with the Tricorn from right back to it’s design and construction through to its final demolition. The event included speeches by Owen Luder, Celia Clark and Councillor Lee Hunt, possibly the most interesting was the story of the Tricorn told by Owen Luder himself. It was fascinating to see how for him the aspirations for the building were in many ways dashed due to an economic turndown happening with an extended delay in securing contracts with key business tenants. Of particular note were his thoughts on how the space itself has been used “54 years on it is back to how it was when I first saw it in 1960, a carpark”.

The exhibition runs through to the 29th June.

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (1)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (2)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (3)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (4)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (5)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (6)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (7)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (8)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (9)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (11)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (12)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (13)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (14)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (15)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (16)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (17)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (18)

Tricorn Controversy in Concrete Exhibition at the Portsmouth City Museum (19)